The recruitment sector has seen a significant skills shortage for years now. According to an article published by Zdnet last September, companies are struggling to hire workers across the IT sector as a whole, ranging from computing infrastructure to security. In our recruitment survey, 83% of IT players who responded to the survey also felt that recruitment had become significantly more difficult over the past five years.
Recruitment in the IT sector is therefore hectic and employers' needs can change rapidly. An additional challenge to recruitment are complex skills profiles, which can lead to recruitment hiccups unless the employer is absolutely sure of the type of talent they are looking for.
How can employers stand out in a highly competitive environment and attract the best candidates to their teams?
A strong employer brand provides the foundation for attracting the right talent
The Finnish newspaper Arvopaperi published an article in March discussing the IT sector and the merger with the software company Vincit. Vincit develops and maintains software to meet the needs of its customers in both the private and public sectors.
Although Vincit competes with other industry giants, they stand out in that they have the right employer brand. They were ranked the fifth most attractive IT employer in Finland., according to a survey of professionals conducted last year by consultancy Universum. The survey included 800 IT professionals, asking them what they wanted from an ideal employer.
Vincit has said that a strong and attractive employer image is based on a flexible working culture, focus on employee well-being and providing opportunities for job growth. At the heart of it all is employee autonomy.
Vincit has succeeded to create an appealing Employer brand by following these set principles. An attractive image and a strong brand create an advantage for any employer, especially in the world of IT. SMEs in particular should focus on employer image, as a strong brand makes it easier to recruit and retain the right candidates.
How to Retain Talent?
The trend in recent years has been to improve employer branding. Of the employers who responded to our recruitment survey, 79% say they have invested in developing their employer image in the last 5 years.
According to Jobilla's Recruitment Development Specialist Mikko Lindqvist, the employer brand should be built with the basic understanding that transparency and communication are at the forefront. If the employer brand is falsely misleading, employees may be interested at first, but they will soon leave with a bad impression.
"By first mapping the current situation and your strengths, it is easy to decide where you want to take the employer brand in the future and fix the possible faults," Lindqvist says and adds:
"The most important thing is that the employer brand is truthful and not a polished image painted to attract applicants".
According to Lindqvist, candidates are particularly interested in how the company invests in employee well-being and how it supports employee development and career paths:
"New employees should feel that they can contribute to the development of their own work and be involved in the development of the organization. Most candidates want to work for an employer with a mission. A sense of relevance and a sense of meaning in one's own work are important retention factors in keeping employees in the company".
Retention factors are particularly important in competitive sectors such as IT, where companies compete for the same talent and candidates can compare multiple offers.
"It is common in the IT sector for talent to jump from job to job and company to company in search of interesting projects and better pay. In order to build resilience, the focus is on what kind of employer the company is, how to retain new employees and what can be offered to them," says Lindqvist.